It’s that time of year again, when the parks open up, the trails are bustling, and you have to hike multiple miles in before you have any hope of finding any semblance of privacy. This can be challenging for those inclined to cannabis. As I found myself packing for an overnighter this weekend, I wanted to share a few steps for properly preparing for your adventure.
Let’s start with the location. Most established campgrounds aren’t really an option for backpackers, looking to head further into nature. Some parks have sporadic campsites with a fire pit, table, and some facilities scattered throughout their trails, while others simply allow camping in certain areas.
- Avoid National Forests and Federal Land (if possible). Obviously, federal laws apply in these areas.
- Make sure that the camp areas are within your reach. One of the most common mistakes is choosing a long trail and assuming you can hike the entire way with all of your gear on your back. If you’re a beginner, stick to a destination that is no more than five miles in. Many of us are used to hiking long distances for day trips, and maybe even bring a snack or some water, but backpacking will involve a pack that is likely 30+ lbs. As you get further along the trail, you’ll need to take occasional breaks and the weight of the pack will really set in. You’ll be glad you didn’t try to do 13 miles on your first backpacking trip; it would be discouraging, and you probably wouldn’t make it.
- Make sure the camp areas are open. Many parks and trails have guides online (alltrails is my favorite) and they’ll let you know what months the trails/parks are best for, and you can see comments from the community on whether there may still be snow on the trail, whether it is inaccessible without 4×4, and a variety of other great tips to help in your planning.
- Be aware of the county/forest/park that you’re looking to camp in. Is there an active fire ban? If so, make sure you only bring vaporizers, electronic consumption devices, or edibles as joints, blunts and any combustion could be a fire hazard. It’s never fun to get all the way there only to realize you can’t smoke what you brought.
- You’re only going to be gone a night (or two nights, if you’re lucky enough to head out Friday or leave Monday morning). Don’t bring a shitload of stuff. This applies to your cannabis paraphernalia as well. You probably don’t need 10 rigs and a bong and a pound of weed for four people in the woods for 24 hours. Maybe you do, and that’s fine, but the point is: be smart with what you pack, because if you overpack, you have to pack it back out. Bring enough cannabis, not too much.
- Clothing should be essentials only. For a two-day, overnighter, you’re wearing your first outfit, so all you need to pack is replacement undergarments (the shirt/underwear closest to your skin) and outer layers such as fleeces, jackets and ponchos according to the weather forecast.
- Sleeping arrangements in the woods are simple: Sleeping pad, Sleeping Bag, Blankets, Pillow. Don’t bring an air mattress and a pump and your favorite blankets and that one stuffed animal your mom got you. The more you bring, the heavier your pack will be. Focus on minimal needs, but don’t skimp on warm items. Think in layers; sleeping cold sucks.
- Bring enough water for both days and then some. Or, get a purifier or purifying tablets so that you can collect water from streams and bodies of water. You can also boil the water to purify it if you have a camp stove.
- Food prep should be easy and simple. Get out a piece of paper and write down each of the meals you’ll be on the trail for, what you’ll eat, and what you need. Nothing more.
Example: Leaving Saturday morning, coming back Sunday afternoon.
Meals: 2 Breakfasts (Saturday on the road), 2 Lunches (On the trail/at camp), 1 Dinner (At camp).Try to get items that have two-three servings, or are individually packaged per serving.
This way, you won’t have to bring chip clips and baggies with you to pack out leftovers. Instant Oatmeal, Fruits, and anything dehydrated makes for a great option when looking for lightweight foods.
There’s much more that goes into planning a campout, including scheduling, first aid, water, etc. Starting with the basics: don’t pack too much, choose your location properly, make sure you have enough food and weed for your trip, but not too much that you’re carrying back leftovers.
Looking for more tips? Stay tuned as we release more guides and tricks for having the best Cannaventure’s of your own.